While I was walking the dogs tonight around the neighborhood, I saw three or four high school-age teens playing frisbee toss under the street lights on a street around the corner from my house. Laughing and just hanging out. It brings me back to when my kids were about their age and a group of boys from the neighborhood would be playing a little basketball or just wandering in a pack. Most of the kids from the new residents still attend the elementary school nearby, while the older residents, like me, have adult children living on their own — or ‘mostly’ on their own, i.e., they live with their parents but meet their own living expenses, generally.
But the older generation are not stay at home, early-to-bed types. Take tonight. Our group of “Empty Nesters”, people we have known twenty to thirty years or so, got together down at Mission Bay for a bonfire and a chance to catch up with each other. Imagine a family of blacks, whites, hispanics, young, older, professionals, mechanics, pool cleaners, cooks, and a retired teacher or two all hanging out and having a great time on a Friday June evening.
It has been a tradition going back six or seven summers that I recall that we have met once or twice a year at Dana Landing. We can watch fishing and pleasure boats returning from the sea, watch an afternoon wedding on the hotel lawn winding down, chase a few bold seagulls poking around a briefly unattended cooler and beach blanket, and do our best impression of s’mores judging. Our resident engineer (retired) was lecturing nobody in particular the proper method to roast a marshmallow – he had three separate heat levels in the fire pit – one for marshmallows (more charcoal than flame), one small flames, and the largest, a little smoky but great for taking away the dusk chill.
And then the chorus. Four ladies standing out of the smoke zone began singing a few of our church songs, and two others chimed in. The men were engaged in the conversations that men do, so our eldest friend and his spouse rounded out the “chorus”.
And I made it almost to 8:30 tonight before we bid our “good nights”. Even one-time Party animals poop out. But before we left, I was a little conflicted. My buddy, a couple years my senior was going to meet another of our group at 7 AM as moving help. I realized that any plan to ‘sleep in’ tomorrow would be a guilty pleasure. Comet would be first to poke me about 5:30 to wake for our morning walk ( Dexter is always in the wings should Comet be distracted). And then, I meet with a few guys for a prayer walk at 7 most Saturdays.
So I am turning in. Even a party animal needs to get some rest.